In recent weeks, some of us had been looking forward to Jazz in the Garden more than usual. Maybe it wouldn’t start until June or July, after the curve had been flattened, but we could still hang on to the promise of some vague return to normality. But this obviously won’t be a usual summer.
Without fanfare, the National Gallery has canceled the 2020 season of Jazz in the Garden, along with all public events through Labor Day. “Our summer events tend to draw very large crowds, from our 500-seat auditorium, which hosts film and lecture programs, to Jazz in the Garden, which sees an average of 10,000 attendees a night,” Anabeth Guthrie, the National Gallery’s chief of communications, said in an email. “When we reopen, we expect we’ll need to continue social distancing practices. We also don’t think that audiences will want to congregate as they did previously.”
Events like Jazz in the Garden “require a lot of planning and contracts,” Guthrie added. Without knowing when the series might begin, and for the safety of staff and performers, the decision was made to cancel.
No one should expect that the next few months will resemble what they did last summer. But whenever the stay-at-home orders are lifted, without Jazz in the Garden, Washingtonians have one less thing to look forward to on steamy Friday evenings.